Rea Concert at the Hammersmith Apollo
April 5th 2012 - Support Act Nell Bryden.
Whenever I travel I always
check local concert listings and to my surprise Chris Rea
was on at the Apollo during a recent visit to London.
Chris has been active
since the mid seventies and hold to his name hits such as
“Road to Hell”, “Josephine” and “On the Beach” just to name
An accomplished guitarist
who blends catchy riffs with soaring slide work, Chris is
known as much for his rock infused tracks as his mellow ballads
or jazzy mid-tempo numbers.
Also well known is his
signature Stratocaster which has followed him during his career.
Support Act – Nell Bryden
From Brooklyn, New York,
Nell put on a superb set just by herself. Armed only with
her acoustic guitar she belted out tracks from her current
album “What Does It Take”, plus a preview track from “Buildings
and Treetops” from her new upcoming album “Shake the Tree”
to be released shortly.
A powerful, melodic and
sentimental performance which was greatly appreciated and
responded to by the packed Apollo theatre. Actually on this
point Nell joked that last time she was at the Apollo she
came to see Willie Nelson and that her presence on the same
stage herself was a big thrill.
Once her set was over
Nell announced that she would be happy to meet any audience
members and sign her latest CD, an offer which many took up
including myself. We hope to review Nell’s new CD in the new
Headliner - Chris Rea
After the break Chris came on at 8.30 pm sharp. Amongst sweeping lights,
and low thunderous synth notes, he burst into “The Last Open
his Santo Spirito album, to an immense applause from
the crowd. A high energy track with a catchy riff, intermingled
with intricate slide work.
This was followed by
a mix of new and old tracks to include “Josephine “and “Julia”
each with different live arrangements. Other stand out tracks
for me where “Stainsby Girls”, and of course his biggest hit
“Road to Hell” with the complete “Part 1” introduction.
For the encore the band
was introduced to a basically arranged version of “On the
Beach” to finish off with “Let's Dance” and “It’s All Gone”
To be honest I greatly
enjoyed the overall concert experience, sound and mix of old
and new songs.
However, I did think
that some songs like “Road to Hell” and “Let’s Dance” where
way too fast and the intricate chord work in “On the Beach”
(My favourite Chris Rea track) was over simplified.
Gear wise Chris seems to be using a number of different guitars other
than his trademark strat known as “pinky”. I also spotted
a Telecaster Thinline, a Strat with double humbuckers, as
well as the red Hofner Colorama and a sparkle blue Italia
His rhythm guitarist
was using Musicman guitars.
Overall a great concert.
By Ernest H Slade
The Last Open Road
the Blues Come From
the Morning Sun Shines on My Love and Me
for the Summer
So Far, Yet Still So Far to Go
Between Highway 61 & 49
Road to Hell (Part 1)
Road to Hell (Part 2)
On the Beach